Monday, April 24, 2017

Iokwe from OK! Meekness and Weakness


I've just got a couple things to share this week, both from yesterday:

During church yesterday, our high counselor (someone who visits the branch to speak on behalf of the stake president [the leader over several congregations]) came to speak to us again. This year's goal for us is to gain more Christ-like attributes. So far, they have discussed humility, submissiveness, and, yesterday, meekness. As far as I know, in Marshallese all of those translate to the same word, and they have similar meanings in English as well, so he explained how he believed they were defined.
As Elder Kilmer puts it: "Our district from left to right: Elder Lazarus, Elder Oberender, Elder Munson, Elder Rodier, Elder Hendrix, Elder Smith, Elder Marshallese Smith (my comp), Elder Awesome"

District Frisbee Golf

He said humility is the way we look at ourselves. Submissiveness is related to our interactions with those around us. So, essentially, if we are humble, we don't think of ourselves as being above or better than others. We recognize our faults and imperfections, but we also don't tear ourselves down and stick our heads in the sand. Being submissive has to do with whether we follow our will or someone else's, whether we bend to them or not. 

Meekness, he said, is about to whom you are being submissive. 

Meekness is not being weak because the way you are submitting is not just bending whichever way the wind blows or letting people walk over you. It is choosing to be submissive to God. When we choose to be submissive to God, it is not weakness. It is hard. It takes strength to submit to God; he doesn't ask us to do things that are always easy. Loving your enemies, doing good to them that hate you, taking time to serve others, paying tithing, making time for church, prayer, scripture study, not even thinking about committing adultery... Those are not easy commandments to submit our wills to. 

As he spoke, it became increasingly clear to be that by choosing to meekly submit to God's will, we aren't short changing ourselves or lowering our position. We aren't missing out on anything or losing anything important. We will gain strength in choosing things that are best. If we really believe that God loves us, shouldn't we also believe that His will is what will make us most strong, most happy, and leave us best off? 

My personal story on the matter:
This last week I read this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 84: And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to 
continue faithful in all things, shall not be 
weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and hair of his head shall not fall to the 
ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, 
neither athirst.
I had been thinking a lot about this scripture this week. Pretty applicable to me because I'm tired a lot. Well, yesterday was the most physically and mentally trying day of my mission to date. Not only did I get wreaked by my allergies (there were literally balls of allergen stuff I could see floating through the air), but I also got hit hard by some sort of 24-hour flu. I felt like I could never get enough water in my system. My whole body ached, my muscles felt like they hadn't been stretched in years, and I was so low on energy that I felt as if I had been fasting for two days straight. It was hard even standing. 

However, I felt like I was not supposed to just lie around in the house all day. I felt desire to go out and work. I honestly thought that I was probably going to pass out mid-afternoon, but I got down on my knees that morning and prayed that if it was Heavenly Father's will for me to go out and work that day, that He would please grant me the strength to go and I would do everything I could to follow what He wanted for me. 

Not only did I not pass out despite biking about 8-10 miles yesterday, but we managed to find someone who told us that he had given up smoking and drinking on behalf of his family and wanted to continue making changes to get closer to God and teach his kids right; as well as resolve the problems of someone we are currently teaching who we have been rather concerned about. He had been sitting on the fence about whether he actually wanted to change or just stay in the same rut, but by the end of the lesson he decided to make some changes and wanted us to come back. 

I know the scripture says that they shall not be weary. I was so weary. I think the principle is that Heavenly Father will take care of His children when they are faithful. Despite being physically spent, I saw blessings from being obedient and submissive to what Heavenly Father wanted for me, even though it would have been nice in the moment to just sleep the whole day. But, by the end of the day, I felt fine again. This morning, I went on a run. 

I know that Heavenly Father wants what is best for us. By being meek and choosing to be strong by submitting to His will, we will be happier. My challenge this week is for you all to choose one thing that you need to do or not do in order to be meek and submit to God's will. Do it!

That's all, except for pictures. Love you all!


Elder Josh Kilmer
OklahomaOklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking
Fudoshin:  immovable spirit

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